Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Notes from Tuesday night

I was able to catch a double-header on Tuesday night, a rarity around Atlanta because of tight game schedules and our favorite metro area traffic.

That being said, I found my way to Douglass High School to see the Astros play host to Redan. The 2-AAAAA teams scrummed together enough buckets to come up with a 41-40 game in favor of the Astros.

Douglass was led by senior guard Jarrett Stokes, who stroked it in the second half with four three-pointers. Stokes was the only guard in the game that had it rolling.

Redan was successful early in the game, as the team looked to Kenny Hall, one of the elite big men in the state, but never seemed to follow up in the second half. Hall scored 15 points, with 12 coming in the first half. He also added 10 rebounds in a difficult defeat.

This was an ugly game, and quite frankly, a difficult game to watch because of the turnovers, bad guard play and officiating that was highlighted by a "five-seconds in the lane" call.

The Lithia Springs-Cherokee game was a little better but not by much. The 5-AAAA teams, at least on paper, are two of the top teams in their respective region. The 66-50 Lithia Springs win was hard to translate.

Lithia Springs guard Devoron Ashmon scored a game high 26 points, and hit six three-pointers in the victory for Lithia Springs. He scored however and whenever he wanted against Cherokee and shined on the defensive end of the floor.

Cherokee struggled and is a playmaker away from being a team that can do some damage in the playoffs. Big man Shawn Kemp worked well above the rim and finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Ryan Fleming scored 13 points as well.

After watching four of the best games I've seen all year on Monday at the Tribute to a King Holiday Hardwood Classic (try saying that five times in a row), it was hard to sit through two sluggish games on Tuesday night.

Random thoughts

- Did you realize that there were 21 schools represented at Centennial on Monday? Keep in mind there were only eight teams in the four-game event. Talk about a great message to the talent level in Georgia.

- Lithia Springs may not have a lot of size of a great go-to player but don't discount the AAAA school. They defend as well as anyone in the state and pick up the full court defense as soon as the opposition inbounds the ball. The fresh-baked cookies at the concession stand are a great touch, too. Hey, what else would expect from me? You know I love some good food!

- Congratulations to Parkview senior Yaw Gayawu for becoming the school's all-time leading scorer. The Colgate bound forward scored 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a win over Grayson on Tuesday night.

- Just in case you were wondering…Derrick Favors is our choice for Mr. Georgia Basketball now, tomorrow and in mid-March. And it isn't even close.

- I'm incredibly excited to make the trip to Columbus on Saturday to see Jordan and Northside go at it. Jordan, the defending AAA state champs, are one of the most underappreciated teams in the state. Northside boasts a lineup of two 6-9 juniors. This one will be exciting.

- The region tournaments are almost here. Who will play Cinderella and what state ranked team will lose it's luster down the home stretch? It happens every year.